Head coach Doug Pederson, whose team has tumbled out of the NFC playoff race in recent weeks, said he’s been assured by the Eagles’ management team that he’ll be back for a second season in 2017.
Pederson said Monday he meets weekly with owner Jeff Lurie and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman, who have told him his job is secure.
Asked if he believes his job is safe, Pederson answered, “For sure. Yeah.”
Asked if Lurie and Roseman — who, along with team president Don Smolenski, formed the search committee that hired Pederson — had emphasized that to him, Pederson responded, “Yes. Yes.”
The Eagles are 5-7 after a 3-0 start in Pederson’s first season as a head coach at any level above high scool.
And it’s not the 5-7 record that’s raised questions about Pederson, it’s the way the Eagles got there. They are 2-7 in their last nine games, and they’ve lost the last three by double digits. They’re 4-1 at home but 1-6 on the road with five straight losses.
Lurie has never fired a coach after his first season or even his second. He dismissed Chip Kelly with a week remaining on his deal, and he's fired Rich Kotite after his fourth year, Ray Rhodes after his third year and Andy Reid after his 14th season.
The last Eagles head coach who was one-and-done was Wayne Millner, who was fired and replaced by Bo McMillin 10 games into the 1951 season with the Eagles 2-8.
Sunday’s 32-14 loss to a 3-7-1 Bengals team was the Eagles’ worst this year. The Eagles trailed 19-0 at halftime and 29-0 in the third quarter.
Since their 3-0 start, the Eagles have the third-worst record in the NFL, ahead of only Kelly’s 49ers (0-9) and the Browns (0-9).
Pederson said all the feedback he’s gotten from Lurie and Roseman has been positive.
“From both of them, it's been 100-percent support on everything,” he said. “I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week, and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things, and every week it’s very positive.”
Unless the Eagles win out, this would become only the second season in franchise history they opened up 3-0 but didn’t finish with a winning record. The 1993 team was actually 4-0 before finishing 8-8.
The Eagles have never opened up 3-3 and finished with a losing record, but they’d have to go 3-1 the rest of the way to avoid that.
Meanwhile, Pederson, who has spoken lately about the Eagles’ being on a long-term building plan similar to the Raiders or Seahawks, said it’s not fair for any owner to make a coaching change after just one season.
“I just don't think, personally, you can base a guy's career on one season,” Pederson said. “I think you've got to give it time to develop. We have a rookie quarterback. We’ve got to have time to develop this quarterback. It just doesn't happen overnight.
“So by no means have they expressed anything to me, and it's been positive and very supportive.”
Neither Lurie nor Roseman regularly speaks with the media. An email for Roseman asking for a comment on Pederson's remarks was not immediately answered.